The Minister of Health and Wellness, the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville led a delegation to Geneva, Switzerland to attend the 76th World Health Assembly meeting being held from May 21st to 30th.

The Minister spoke to ZNS News about the government’s intention to repeal the current National Health Insurance Act. He said, “the Bahamian people can recall that I have the National Health Insurance bill that I laid in Parliament to repeal and replace the 2016 act. The reason why that’s important is become we want to expand services for primary health care throughout the Commonwealth. In order to do so the old piece of legislation hindered us with that task to be able to do it. So this new piece of legislation give us more tools and more leverage to implement new services specifically with screening. We intend to screen for colorectal cancers. We intend to screen for breast cancer and because of the tertiary health care facilities being in Nassau and Grand Bahama it very important for us to come up with a strategy so that we do not leave the family islands out.”

Darville further commented on the new hospital facility to be constructed in Grand Bahama. “Phase 1A is a 60,000 square foot structure that will have a lot of outpatient facilities and to be able to be functional within eighteen months. This is compounded with phase 1B which is to design emergency beds and to turn the facility into an urgent care facility that will be completed and usable as the phase 2 project is ongoing which is the multistory facility that will produce the necessary bed and further diagnostic equipment and hopefully once that’s completed we will downgrade the Rand Memorial Hospital into a secondary facility where we would provide geriatric care, psychiatric care and we have two beautiful theatres there which will be used for outpatient surgical procedures,” Dr. Darville said.

The World Health Assembly is a decision making part of the World Health Organization (WHO) and it attended by representatives of all members states of the WHO.